...And the second is Like it, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:39
Gods greatest command to us is to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. and then he says the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself.
Have you loved your neighbor lately? My oldest son is a waiter. I love to watch him at work. It's more than just a job to him. He serves each party as if they were the most special people in the restaurant. He talks with them, makes sure they are comfortable and satisfied, jokes and listens. By the time their dining experience is over, it always seems my son and his customers have become united somehow, shaking hands, and wishing each other well.
I guess what impresses me about this, is that he takes the time with each customer to treat them as special. He treats them as he would want to be treated. I also notice when my son is on the receiving end of service he does the same. He talks with the servers, puts them at ease, tries to make their job easier by collecting the plates and such and setting them on the edge of the table. He always leaves a very generous tip, knowing the joy and appreciation it will bring them.
Loving our neighbor means taking each individual person we come in contact with and treating them how we ourselves would want to be treated. Looking at them through the lens of God's eyes, and acting towards them with the same love and respect God shares with us.
This command not only benefits our fellow man, but it benefits us as well, and above that it pleases God. Look at the times in your life you have gone out of the way to serve another person, whether it was by gesture, word or action. How did it make you feel? My guess is that you felt good, satisfied,happy,warm,peaceful, special, worthy, proud and humble all at the same time.
We have such power and influence in the things we do and the choices we make concerning how we treat others. Choosing to consciously love our neighbor yields a sweet harvest of goodness and joy for God's kingdom. Loving others is something everybody can do if we so choose.
Test Gods command, go out of our way today to show love to those we encounter, see what happens. We may not know how it touches our neighbor, but it will impact us and God will be smiling.
I would love to hear some ways you love your neighbor, share your ideas, stories and results.
There is an acronym that I learned years ago that I try to keep in mind. It is made from the word joy, and reminds us the order in which we are to love.
Acting in line with this order will produce and spread joy. God Bless you in your quest to love!